James Kulbaski Retained in Microsoft Antitrust Case

September 1, 2002 – Firm News

James J. Kulbaski, a partner at Oblon Spivak McClelland Maier & Neustadt, has been retained by nine states pursuing settlement of their antitrust claims against Microsoft. Mr. Kulbaski will assist the Settling States in their on-going review of Microsoft's compliance with a proposed consent decree currently under consideration by the Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia.

On November 6, 2001, Microsoft agreed to settle the antitrust suit involving the Windows operating system with the United States government and nine states: Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, and North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin, ("the Settling States"). Those parties presented the settlement to the United States District Court for approval at a hearing on March 6, 2002, and although a final judicial decision has not yet been issued, the parties are implementing certain of the settlement terms by agreement.

Part of the proposed settlement decree calls for Microsoft to license certain communication protocols contained in the Windows operating system on a "reasonable and nondiscriminatory basis." Microsoft's Windows operating systems contain code that readily permits communication with other computers. The licensed communication protocols allow computer servers to readily communicate with personal computers running Microsoft Windows. Mr. Kulbaski will be assisting the Settling States in reviewing whether Microsoft's program to license its communication protocols meets the company's obligation under the proposed settlement decree.

Mr. Kulbaski is one of the few registered patent attorneys in the country specializing in patents related to industry standards and patent pools, an area in which reasonable and nondiscriminatory licensing is also required. He has lectured extensively on the subject and has presented testimony and served as a panelist at the 2002 Hearings of the United States Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice. Mr. Kulbaski, a former Patent Examiner, received his Juris Doctor degree from the Columbus School of Law of the Catholic University of America and his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is admitted to the Virginia Bar and is registered to practice as a patent attorney before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.